Auras Fridge JES-988 Passive VGA Cooler Review

Cooling/VGA & Other Cooling by geoffrey @ 2008-04-15

After-market cooling solutions have never been so popular, every month new units are released and it was not too long ago when the first Auras Fridge sample arrived at our testing lab. Auras might not be known by many, but they have been around for nearly 9 years which not only makes them very experienced in what they do, they also know quite well how to bring out attractive products with a high price/performance ratio. Today, we gladly look closer at the JES-988 video card heatsink, continue reading if you want to find out how it this passive VGA cooler performs.

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Installation, Test Setup & Benchmark methodology

Installing the Auras Fridge

Madshrimps (c)

As Madshrimps video card reviewer I've been detaching and reinstalling video card heatsinks quite a lot, though installing the Auras Fridge didn't go as fluently as planned. First I went looking for a Sparkle 7950GT that I had around for a while, with the voltmod installed I thought it would be an excellent candidate to improve the cooling abilities. While I was trying to attach the Fridge I noticed how the heatpipes of the heatsink touched the PCI slot plate and in fact blocked the heatsink to properly fit on top of the video card. I contacted Auras and they confirmed that the Fridge may not be compatible with non-reference cards. Thanks to Jason at Tecnacom I had a spare HIS HD3870 to test. Unfortunately, the heatsink refused to install properly yet again, even though knowing the HIS HD3870 is a reference card. Next I measured the distance between the farthest point the heatpipes reach, and the widest mounting holes. In then grabbed the Leadtek 8800GT and measured the exact distance again... and yes, in theory it should fit now.

Madshrimps (c)

Few weeks later I went back into testing the Auras heatsink and while using the 8800GT as role model I had not even a single issue when installing the JES988. After all these problems I did get a bit of an uncomfortable feeling with the heatsink, the base plate stays in place but the main heat exchanger can move a little due to it being held by the heatpipes only. I didn't follow my feeling and fired-up the system. Entering windows, I quickly went on monitoring the GPU temperature and.... aaaah, it is working just perfect!

Madshrimps (c)

Test setup

Geoffreys' Test Setup
Madshrimps (c)
CPUIntel E6600 @ 3,6GHz
CoolingZalman 9700 LED
MainboardASUS P5E
Memory2x1Gb TEAMGROUP Xtreem 800MHz 4-4-4-10-35-4-10-10-10-2T
  • Leadtek WinFast PX8800 GT ZL 512MB
  • Other
  • FSP Epsilon 900 PSU
  • Maxtor 80Gb PATA HDD
  • Seagate 200GB SATA HDD
  • Antec Nine Hundred housing
  • 20" Dell UltraSharp 2007FP TFT monitor

  • The Intel E6600 was being overclocked to 3,6GHz by changing the FSB from 266MHz to 400MHz and by keeping the multiplier at default (9). This way the CPU would score more or less on par with the highest clocked Wolfdale CPU's.
  • Teamgroup's pair of 1Gb DDR2 sticks were clocked to default settings via the Intel X38 chipset.
  • ForceWare 174.12 drivers for GeForce 8800GT
  • While Windows Vista is now officially launched, we decided to test with a mature Windows OS (XP SP2).

    Benchmark methodology

    In order to get a repeatable benchmarking environment I used the 3D Mark 2005 Mother Nature test in loop. To increase the load for graphic accelerators, I increase the resolution up to 1600*1200 and enabled 4 times Anti-Aliasing and 16x Anisotropic Filtering.

    The Auras Fridge heatsink was tested on a Leadtek WinFast PX8800 GT ZL 512MB videocard, in order to get a good view on how the heatsink performs and the average 8800GT I down clocked the card to NVIDIA reference clocks: 600MHz core, 1500MHz shaders and 900MHz memory.

    In order to maintain video card GPU temperatures we used the Rivatuner build-in monitoring tool. Sound level was measured using the Smart Sensor AR824 digital sound sensor 50cm away from our Antec PC housing.
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    Comment from Rutar @ 2008/04/16
    not cheap enough compared to the S1
    Comment from geoffrey @ 2008/04/16
    S1 was roughly same priced at launch, but currently it is very hard to beat. The Auras is a good replacement if the S1 is not available, only will cost you few extra bucks.